Real Madrid star Federico Valverde has revealed he once had a trial with Arsenal but Arsene Wenger passed on a chance to secure his transfer from Club Atletico Penarol.
The Gunners’ legendary manager welcomed the Uruguayan to the Emirates Stadium outfit’s London Colney training ground in his formative years. Valverde spent one-week training with Arsenal to try and secure a move to Europe. But Wenger elected against pursuing a transfer.
Valverde had multiple trials in Europe before Real Madrid ultimately snapped up the Penarol product for just €5m (£4m). He has since gone on to become a vital player with Los Blancos, with several titles to suit. The 25-year-old has enjoyed a glittering career with the Galacticos.
Valverde has had a glittering Real Madrid career since Arsenal snubbed his transfer
Real Madrid have won La Liga twice since signing Valverde, initially for their Castille team, in July 2016. He has also helped to lift the Champions League once, the Copa del Rey once, the FIFA Club World Cup twice, the UEFA Super Cup once and the Spanish Super Cup twice.
Managers have not always considered Valverde to be one of the first names on a teamsheet at the Santiago Bernabeu. But he has enjoyed 208 first-team appearances with 18 goals and 15 assists in all competitions. Valverde’s versatility often ensures his standing at Los Blancos.
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Valverde has featured throughout the line-up since making his Galacticos debut with outings as a central, defensive and attacking midfielder. He has also featured on both wings and as a right-back sparingly. All the while Wenger once passed up on signing Valverde from Penarol.
Valverde will always respect Sanchez for his support whilst at London Colney
The Real Madrid star recalled his one-week trial at Arsenal before Valverde’s Uruguay beat Alexis Sanchez’s Chile on Friday. He recalls how the winger was one of the few players who supported him whilst at London Colney. Valverde will always respect Sanchez for that help.
“I have always been grateful to him,” Valverde said, via quotes by football.london. “When I went to train at Arsenal, Alexis was there and he was one of the few who came up to help me. I will always be grateful to him because, being a nobody, I was well-received by him.
“He was there to help me when I was a kid. As a footballer, he is an incredible player.”